Freedom plus Love equals Creation... But, on the other hand; freedom without Love is selfish desire.
It is therefore rational to fear the freedom of those who do not love us.
It is rational for those who desire to be Good; to fear their own freedom - since they know that (in this mortal life) love does not always or fully rule their motivations.
In sum: Freedom is thinking (thus living) from-oneself; but that is insufficient in a world of other Beings, it does not take account of other Beings except insofar as they gratify us.
Thus, freedom without love is demonic - and regards the rest of creation as ripe for subordination to its own gratification.
Yet indifference to freedom is potentially demonic too: especially indifference to the freedom of others - and the idea that "the rest of the world" might be/ out to be subordinated to our own untrammeled freedom to think/ say/ do... whatever we want.
Further on in the post, Dr. Charlton notes:
The situation is that only those who genuinely value freedom as a core and indispensable basis of life, will want Heaven – because Heaven (unlike Paradise, Nirvana, or Hell) is a place of creation – and creation entails freedom.
Yet, this absolute, non-negotiable ideal of freedom also requires a full acknowledgement that freedom is only Good when it is absolutely subordinated to love; and in this mortal life, love is not absolute, therefore freedom will not be subordinated to love either fully or always.
There is no paradox or conflict here; there is no place for compromise or a 'middle way' – it is a simple reality rooted in the difference between mortal life and heaven, and a recognition that what is not just possible but absolute in Heaven; is only partly possible and never absolute here on earth.
If Christianity has one tragic flaw, it lies in underemphasizing the crucial and central role of freedom.
Granted, Christianity has valid reasons to be wary of freedom, especially since the unfurling of the banner of liberty during the era of Enlightenment and Revolution, which drove a stake through the heart of throne and altar Christendom, thereby birthing what most Christians pejoratively refer to as the modern world.
To a large extent, Christians are right to criticize the liberty banner as a spiritually destructive force. As history has shown, liberty first provided man with freedom from restrictive social and religious orders; however, it eventually led man away from God altogether.
Though most Christians believe otherwise, the initial movements of liberty contained some good within it and orientated man in a largely positive direction via freedom in thinking.
The problem with liberty is it aimed its freedom-for away from Creation toward things like humanism. Put another way, liberty fell into the trap Dr. Charlton describes above – it fundamentally failed to subordinate freedom to love and became a vehicle for selfish desire, power games, and self-gratification.
By the same token, Christendom fundamentally rejected the freedom to which love could be properly subordinated, thus stifling creativity. Christendom Christianity offered plenty of freedom from but very little in the way of freedom for.
This discussion of freedom and love reminded me – once again – of a brilliant passage from Berdyaev’s Slavery and Freedom:
Christ was a free man, the freest of the sons of men. He was free from the world; He was bound only by love. Christ spoke as one having authority, but He did not have the will to authority, and He was not a master.
What made Jesus a free man? The freest of the sons of men?
As Berdyaev notes, Jesus was free from the world. In other words, His thinking was free from the sort of self-gratifying, selfish, demonic “freedom” Dr. Charlton notes above. His thinking was also free from the external heteronomy in which He lived.
Berdyaev goes on to point out that the only means through which Jesus was bound was by love, suggesting that Jesus successfully subordinated his freedom to love.
To what sort of love did Jesus subordinate his freedom? Well, it certainly had to be more than a love of tradition or family or race or the religious conventions of that time and place, because if He had subordinated His freedom to those things alone, He would have eventually found himself in unfreedom.
But doesn’t the whole notion of subordinating freedom to love render freedom unfree?
No. Freedom is free when it is for God and Creation.
Modern people view God and Creation as an encroachment on their personal, selfish freedom-from form of freedom, and in this, they are not entirely wrong. However, they are entirely wrong in believing that selfish freedom from is freedom at all.
Jesus was the freest of the sons of the men because He was the first to fully align his freedom with God’s freedom – and the vehicle of this alignment was Jesus’s love, a love that freed Him from all selfish and self-gratifying false-self temptations and external, enslaving factors and allowed Him to operate fully from His divine self, which was completely in harmony with God and Creation. Once this harmony was in place, Jesus could consciously and effectively co-create in God's creation.
Jesus did more than demonstrate true freedom – His life is a testament to the ultimate form of freedom – freedom with God. Once He became a full co-creator in Creation, He was working with God rather than just working for the cause of God.
Put simply, Jesus was able to do on earth what we will very likely only be able to do in Heaven, but if we want to be free with God in Heaven, we must begin to sort out our freedom froms and freedom fors during our mortal lives.
And that begins with the understanding that Jesus increases our freedom and continues to the reality that love is the only way to harness this increased freedom for creativity.